Minrav, Russian co win Jerusalem fast train section

They will begin digging tunnels in about a year, after special equipment arrives.

A consortium of Minrav Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MNRV) unit Minrav Engineering and Construction Ltd. and Russia's Moscow Metrostroy won an Israel Railways tender to build a seven-kilometer tunnel and other work on section B of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high-speed railway line. Minrav estimates the value of the project at NIS 558 million, and that it will take 40 months to complete.

The Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high-speed two-track railway line includes laying a 38-kilometer double track from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem. It involves the construction of ten bridges and three tunnels, and an underground terminal between Jerusalem's Central Bus Station and Binyanei Ha'Ooma International Convention Center at a depth of 80 meters. The complex project is due to be completed in 2016.

The project includes Israel's longest tunnel, at 11.6 kilometers, and longest and highest bridge, at 1.25-kilometers at a height of 90 meters. Travel time between Tel Aviv's Hahagana Station and Jerusalem should be 30 minutes. Israel Railways expects three million passengers a year on the route.

Minrav and Moscow Metrostroy own the consortium in equal shares. Section B of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high-speed railway line is a 3.5-kilometer stretch running east from Latrun. The companies will build two parallel tunnels, one for each track. Digging will begin in a year, because the companies have to order the special equipment. The companies will begin preparations and earthworks as soon as they get the work permit.

Section B was the last section of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high-speed railway line for which a contractor has been picked.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 1, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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